Common Whimbrel | Numenius phaeopus
The Common Whimbrel is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.
The description for the Common Whimbrel (Latin name Numenius phaeopus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Numenius phaeopus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 290 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 349. You will find a picture of the Common Whimbrel on page 368.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
This bird is known as Whimbrel in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Whimbrel between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Common Whimbrel has a height of 46 cms and weighs around 400 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Numenius phaeopus has a grey, brown coloured throat, yellow legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.
The male Numenius phaeopus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is brown
Eyes are brown
Bill is black
Legs are yellow
Throat is grey, brown
Back is brown
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Common Whimbrel is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.
You can see the Common Whimbrel bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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